Berlin, BOMARCS, and the Bomb, 1961–1962
Common Cold War interests united Canada and the United States in the summer of 1961 as a crisis with the Soviet Union over the status of Berlin had the potential to devolve into war. As this chapter makes clear, Berlin and the related fear of a nuclear conflict led Canada to closely align itself with the United States, but also led many Canadians to champion disarmament and oppose the Canada–US military alliance. These competing forces had a profound impact on Diefenbaker’s handling of defense policy, toward which the Kennedy administration displayed patience and understanding—though frustration began to grow over Canadian hesitancy about accepting nuclear weapons.
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